The truth about Walmart's new bonuses

Walmart, the world's largest private employer, is boosting its starting salary for USA workers to $11 an hour, giving a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to eligible employees and expanding its maternity and parental leave benefits.

The company said the pay increases apply to all its hourly workers in the United States, including those at its Sam's Club stores.

Walmart, the favorite target of attacks on the left for exploiting their workforce, will include a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees as high as $1,000, depending on seniority.

The company said the changes are a way to allow workers to "share in tax savings".

The company, which is the nation's largest private-sector employer, said it's also expanding its parental and maternity leave policy.

-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will raise entry-level wages for United States hourly employees to $11 an hour in February as it benefits from last month's major overhaul of the USA tax code, the company said on Thursday.

The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company's more than one million US hourly associates.

The announcement comes after rival Target raised its hourly starting wage to $11 late past year, with plans to increase it to $15 by 2020.

He added that "tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S". The increase cut into profit and was criticized by some longer-tenured employees as unfair to them.

Walmart is also increasing its paid leave policy for new fathers and non-birthing mothers to six weeks at full pay for full-time hourly workers. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service. The retailer has spent about $2.7 billion to increase wages over the past few years. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave. Previously, the company didn't offer any paid leave for them.

"A better solution would be to raise the federal minimum wage and not leave it up to corporations", Gould said.

Workers in Washington D.C. and the states of California, Washington and MA, already earn at least $11 an hour.

Walmart said hourly employees at its websites, distribution centers and its Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters, will benefit from the wage increase.

Lately, much of the talk about Walmart's showdown with Amazon.com has centered on the old-school retailer building stronger e-commerce muscles.

Plus, Walmart knows from experience what raising wages can do to help boost business. Walmart on Thursday promised full-time hourly US employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

  • Eleanor Harrison